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From engineer to boss of print finishing firm

An engineer by profession, Steve Giddins is a salesman with an expert touch when it comes to print finishing machines.

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Perfect Bindery Solutions had a good Print Show with much interest in their range of kit

Now the chief of Perfect Bindery Solutions based in Oxfordshire, the one-time engineer says he had a good Print Show due in part to the desire by print firms to bring more of their print finishing in-house.

“It has been very busy with lots of questions from box making to book binding,” he says. “The new Smyth sewing machine has created a lot of interest. It was developed to replace an older model with a bigger range that can be connected to a digital feeder with flat sheets of up to B1 size, then through a folding unit converted into a 16-page section or 32 section.

“It is then delivered onto the saddle of the sewing machine. It can also be integrated with digital work with some litho sheets, for example if you wanted to put a special section printed by litho or by digital into the book you can programme the machine to do that.”

So, it makes sense to keep it in-house as you control the delivery and time

He said mostly book publishers and digital printers who are looking to keep their finishing in house to keep costs down were clients.

“It makes no sense to send parts of a job like laminating or thread-sewing to another supplier and back again when you are only producing 50 books,” he continues. “Then you’ve got transport costs and keeping the integrity of the product intact making sure it is not damaged. So, it makes sense to keep it in-house as you control the delivery and time.”

Giddins’ point is well made but there are two schools of thought. Trade printers who offer a wide variety of print finishing services clearly have far more kit than most printers. Firms such as Folio in Bristol and Reflections in Sidcup are two names that come to mind. With specialist knowledge and working only with the print and allied trades, specialist print finishers have a role to play.

However, Perfect Bindery Solutions have found print finishing to be an expanding sector in the industry as printers fight to keep costs down. And just as important the technology is making it possible for more to be done with less as the Smyth FF70 on display at The Print Show proves.

Is bringing more finishing in-house the way to go? Email your thoughts to harry@linkpublishing.co.uk or call me on Tel: 0117 9805 040 – or follow me on Twitter and join in the debate.

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